New accreditation changing the face of private housing
New Section 21 legislation designed to help protect private renters from rogue landlords isn’t working, claim MPs and housing lawyers.
In 2015 the law in England changed to make “revenge evictions” illegal, which applies to rental agreements signed since 1st October 2015.
Faulty electrics, damp and broken boilers that don’t get fixed are all officially classed as category one hazards which pose a risk to health. However despite the changes, figures recently gathered by Radio 1 Newsbeat through Freedom of Information requests show that more than half of local councils across England haven’t used these powers.
Tenants must make any complaints to a landlord in writing before they are served with a Section 21 eviction notice. Complaints made in person or over the phone don’t count and leave the tenant with little power.
CEO of Tenant Referencing UK, Paul Routledge, has recently been filming with the BBC for a landlord/tenant ‘swap’ type program that’s set to be aired this September. With this in mind, he said:
‘I think this just proves what we all already know; rogue landlords don’t give damn no matter how much legislation there is to try and stop them. This is because they are not landlords, they all criminals and need to be dealt with as such.
However what makes me smile when I see these documentaries showing the problems is the general state of cleanliness of the property.
I watched the BBC in horror as they showed the plug coming away from the wall. The horror was not the damaged plug, but the filthy state of the plug they showed and the surrounding rooms that looked like a doss hole!
I myself have refused to go into some properties to carry out repairs, and in the showing of balance and fairness (and not sensationalism) I think the media needs to focus on the general state of cleanliness and basic house cleaning of tenants before they just focus on what a landlord has failed to do.
I have been on the front line with this issue and there is not one plumber or landlord who is going to stick their head behind anyone’s toilet when it has years of **** caked into it!’
This is why The National Landlords Code of Excellence Ltd launched their free Property Maintenance and Repair reporting facility for private renters in October 2016. It is now proactively helping tackle the age-old problem of maintenance/repair issues between tenants and their landlords.
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Director of the NLCE UK, Sam Jackson, said:
‘We will be holding our 3rd Landlord Training day next week, meaning that we will have over 30 accredited landlords in less than 6 months !
Our maintenance/repair reporting system is working brilliantly too. For example, we had a fairly serious report come in last Friday from a North Somerset tenant. Today, the tenant has confirmed that the landlord is now addressing all of the issues after our team got in touch.
This just goes to show that communication is the key here; the difference this has made to the tenants well being is massive considering how distressed they were only one week ago.’
As the NLCE grows it plans to offer more educational help to tenants about issues; such as how to deal with general maintenance issues themselves. Moreover, partnered with Tenant Referencing UK, if tenants conducts themselves correctly throughout their tenancies they will create a better Tenant History to enable them to secure better accommodation in the future.
The NLCE believe that better understanding of these issues will lead to a better relationship between tenants and their landlords from the beginning.
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